UK government pledges 100Mbps ultrafast broadband for all

It's an election year after all

Ultrafast broadband

The UK government has promised to speed up the roll out of 100Mbps ultrafast broadband to almost every home in the UK as part of George Osborne's final Budget before May's general election.

Osborne pledged to hasten the rollout out of an existing scheme that uses satellite and other technologies to bring remote locations ultrafast broadband speeds of 100Mbps calling it a "national ambition" in the process, according to the Financial Times.

"We're committing to a new national ambition to bring ultrafast broadband of at least 100Mbps to nearly all homes in the country, so Britain is out in front," Osborne said.

The government has not set aside any new funding on top of the £1.7 billion (approximately $2.4 billion, or AU$3.2 billion) that is already in place to pay for the installation of broadband to homes and businesses around the UK to achieve its goal of 95% superfast broadband coverage by 2017.

Subsidies with local bodies are part of the scheme to help speed up the installation of superfast-capable satellite services across the UK, and it backs up that £1.7 billion (approximately $2.4 billion, or AU$3.2 billion) commitment. As a way of comparison, ultrafast broadband is defined as offering speeds of at least 100Mbps whereas superfast speeds are defined as those over 24Mbps.

It is also looking to raise the Universal Service Obligation (USO) from dial up speeds to 5Mbps broadband thus allowing consumers to legally request the right to the installation of 5Mbps capable services at an affordable price.

Bringing down the barriers

Some of the other ways the government hopes to encourage the rollout of "better broadband" is to invite the industry to highlight barriers to private investment, reform the Electronic Communications Code (ECC), implement the European Broadband Directive, reduce regulatory red tape, and support local broadband projects.

The ECC regulates the relationship between network operators and site providers, and there is widespread agreement that this needs reforming. The European Broadband Directive, meanwhile, is group of measures designed to bring down the cost of deploying high-speed networks by 1 January, 2016, and could reduce costs for telecoms companies by between 20% and 30%.

All this, combined with the £600 million set aside in the 2015 Budget to support the change of use of the 700MHz spectrum for enhanced mobile broadband, ensures that rural communities won't be left behind when it comes to broadband speeds.

Via: Department for Culture, Media and Sport

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